Recovery of charter rates gains momentum
The recovery of the charter rates is gaining momentum. The average charter rate for a 12,500 dwt multipurpose vessel in December increased by 202 dollars compared to last month. That is a significantly bigger increase than in the months before.
The recovery is likely helped by a shortage of capacity in the container sector, where carriers have been chartering multipurpose tonnage to close their supply gaps.
Shipping analyst Alphaliner recently reported that “the dearth of cellular container tonnage in the charter market is forcing some carriers to tap into the multipurpose market to cover their needs.” The analyst also gave examples of Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Samudera, which have both chartered multipurpose vessels from Zeaborn to ensure sufficient capacity as demand for container capacity peaks and freight rates are soaring.
This development likely helped with the relatively big jump in charter rates month on month. The charter rates for multipurpose vessels bottomed out at USD 6,381 in June following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Since then, the rates have slowly but surely been recovering, increasing by 50 to 100 dollars on average month on month.
In November the rates increased by 114 dollars compared to October, and now, the rates gained even more momentum, increasing by 202 dollars to an average of USD 6,931. The rates are now less than 500 dollars from their level in February this year, before the pandemic caused the rates to collapse.